Derby release former Canaries striker after seven-year spell

PUBLISHED: 13:20 31 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:33 31 July 2020

Chris Martin, left, in action for Derby during a 2-1 win at Carrow Road in the Championship in October 2017 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Chris Martin, left, in action for Derby during a 2-1 win at Carrow Road in the Championship in October 2017 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Former Norwich City striker Chris Martin has seen his seven-year spell with Derby County come to an end, making him a free agent this summer at the age of 31.

The Scotland international striker, originally from Beccles, came through the academy system at Norwich and scored 34 goals in 117 games between 2007 and 2013.

Martin played a pivotal role in City’s rise from League One to the Premier League, forming a lethal understanding with Grant Holt and Wes Hoolahan. However, after just four Premier League appearances he was loaned back to the Championship with Crystal Palace.

He was then on loan in League One with Swindon during 2012-13 and was released by Chris Hughton, joining Derby ahead of the 2013-14 season.

He has since scored 76 goals in 226 games for the Rams, to put him in their top 20 all-time scorers, but that lengthy stint did also include spells at Fulham, Reading and Hull on loan.

Grant Holt, left, Wes Hoolahan and Chris Martin, right, were a key part of Paul Lambert's success at Norwich City Picture: Adrian Judd/Archant libraryGrant Holt, left, Wes Hoolahan and Chris Martin, right, were a key part of Paul Lambert's success at Norwich City Picture: Adrian Judd/Archant library

Martin registered 12 goals and seven assists during 38 appearances as the Rams finished in mid-table this season, starting the final six matches of the elongated campaign.

He was a key part of the Derby team beaten in the 2014 Championship play-off final under Steve McClaren and also suffered semi-final disappointment two years later, as well as with Fulham in 2017, but was with Hull when the Rams lost in the play-offs in 2019.

Chief executive Stephen Pearce told Derby’s website: “Chris has a long-standing association with the football club since arriving from Norwich City initially on loan in February 2013 before signing permanently in the summer.

“He has made a telling contribution to Derby County and ranks 17th in the club’s record goalscorers list, scoring 76 goals in all competitions.

Chris Martin was sent off for a poor tackle on Norwich defender Mitchell Dijks at Carrow Road in April 2017, but it didn't prevent his loan club Fulham from winning the Championship game 3-1 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesChris Martin was sent off for a poor tackle on Norwich defender Mitchell Dijks at Carrow Road in April 2017, but it didn't prevent his loan club Fulham from winning the Championship game 3-1 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

“We wish to thank Chris for his seven-year service to the football club and we will endeavour to remain in dialogue with him and his representatives and will always leave the door open for a potential return if he does not find a suitable club.”

The Canaries academy product has scored three goals in 17 games for Scotland and has 145 goals in 507 games in total to his name in club football so far during his senior career.

Martin made his debut for Norwich at 18 years old, as a substitute during a 1-0 Championship defeat at Wolves in January 2007, before coming on during extra-time and scoring a winner against Blackpool in an FA Cup fourth round replay at Carrow Road two games later.

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